Knysna facing major water crisis

2017-06-19 20:05
(Lucky Nxumalo)

(Lucky Nxumalo)

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Knysna - The Knysna community is being urged to use water sparingly after the town only received 1mm of rain during the past week.

Knysna Municipality said both the Gouna and Knysna Rivers, that feed the town's off-channel storage Akkerkloof Dam, have stopped flowing.

"The current water level of the Knysna River is a mere 100mm below the weir at Charlesford extraction point," Knysna acting municipal manager Johnny Douglas said.  

Charlesford is Knysna’s primary abstraction point, he said.

With the level of water being so low, the municipality is unable to use all of its pumps to feed much-needed water into the balancing Glebe Dam, before being pumped into the Akkerkloof Dam that feeds Knysna with its water.
 
Douglas said the Glebe Dam was empty and the Akkerkloof Dam was 33% full. This translated into 20 days of water, at the current usage of 13.96Ml/day.

"We are in desperate need to reduce the town’s water consumption, as our technical team are managing to produce only 12.5Ml/day."
 
The pipeline between the Glebe and Akkerkloof Dams received an upgrade during 2015 that resulted in an increase in Knysna's capacity.

"With the current drought situation, it is impossible to pump water out of the rivers that just don’t have the water, resulting in our dam levels dropping daily."

Douglas added that the Knysna Municipality was in discussions with the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation to secure funding for a second storage dam.
 
Knysna’s desalination plant is up and running and is capable of complementing the town’s traditional sources by a mere 1.368ML/day, when running at capacity.

He commended the municipality's technical team for its tireless work in attending to the break in the water system and the numerous water leaks that resulted from recent fires.

Swathes of Knysna and the villages and towns around it, as far as Plettenberg Bay, were gutted by at least 22 fires along the popular Garden Route from Tuesday, June 7.

Seven people died as a result of the fires and more than 10 000 were evacuated, as hundreds of homes were burnt down.

Residents who may be experiencing water outages are asked to call water report number 044 302 6331.


Read more on:    water  |  water crisis

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